‘Exercise utmost caution’: India issues advisory for its nationals in Canada

Last Updated on September 20, 2023 12:10 pm

New Delhi: A day after Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s allegation of Indian involvement in the killing of Khalistani leader Hardeep Singh Nijjar triggered a diplomatic row, India advised its citizens in Canada to exercise “utmost caution” due to growing anti-India activities and hate crimes.

Trudeau’s claim of a “potential link” between Indian government agents and the murder of Nijjar in June was dismissed by India as “absurd and motivated”. The allegation impacted bilateral ties that are already at an all-time low.

In an advisory aimed at Indian nationals and students in Canada and citizens planning to travel to the country, the external affairs ministry said there were also threats against members of the Indian community who “oppose the anti-India agenda”.

The advisory reflected the worsening bilateral relationship, which deteriorated over the Canadian side’s perceived indifference to India’s calls for action against pro-Khalistan elements operating from Canadian soil.

“In view of growing anti-India activities and politically-condoned hate crimes and criminal violence in Canada, all Indian nationals there and those contemplating travel are urged to exercise utmost caution,” the advisory said.

“Recently, threats have particularly targeted Indian diplomats and sections of the Indian community who oppose the anti-India agenda,” it added.

The advisory cautioned Indian nationals to “avoid travelling to regions and potential venues in Canada that have seen such incidents”.

There are 230,000 Indian students and 700,000 non-resident Indians in Canada, according to the website of the Indian high commission in Ottawa.

The advisory said the Indian high commission and consulates will continue to be in contact with Canadian authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of the Indian community.

“Given the deteriorating security environment in Canada, Indian students in particular are advised to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant,” it said.

Indian nationals and students in Canada “must also register” with the high commission in Ottawa or the consulates in Toronto and Vancouver through their websites or the MADAD portal (madad.gov.in), the advisory said. Registration would enable the missions to “better connect with Indian citizens in Canada in the event of any emergency or untoward incident”.

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